Part of Irsay collection to be on display ahead of Colts game against Titans

Indianapolis Colts

Ahead of the Colts game this Sunday, part of Jim Irsay’s private collection of music memorabilia he’s gathered over time will be on display. 

It includes instruments used by famous musicians like the Beatles, Jerry Garcia, Eric Clapton and even Sir Elton John. 

As the Colts take on the Tennesse Titans in Nashville this Sunday, the display will also be in the Music City Saturday night. 

Colt’s Vice President of Historical Affairs Larry Hall says it speaks to Irsay’s passion for these items but also his desire to share them with others. 

“He always calls himself a steward of the horse shoe and a steward of these artifacts. So that’s kind of the intersecting point,” said Hall. 

The Colts owner’s collection features many rare artifacts that you might recognize, like one of his newest items that’s not on display just yet. 

“Sir Elton John’s piano, which was used over a thousand times on stage and in studio. He lent it to Freddie Mercury from Queen for a year. It was used by Paul McCartney at Live Aid, where 1.9 billion people watched on television and it actually was at John Lennon’s last live performance.” 

He also has nearly 200 guitars that Irsay also plays himself. 

“Several of them are famously owned or famously played by people like Eric Clapton, David Gilmore from Pink Floyd. He has Tiger, Jerry Garcia’s guitar.” 

While the event this weekend is invite-only, it isn’t the first time he’s shown off the collection. We talked to him back in 2011 when he shared items in celebration of super bowl 46 in indianapolis. 

“It`s not getting the piece and holding it in front of you when you`re alone, it`s sharing it with people and seeing the excitement, the joy, the memories, ” said Jim Irsay back in 2011. 

Many of the valuable pieces showcase remarkable moments in history. 

“Some of the other musical items like the Beatles Drum Kit was used over 200 times on stage by Ringo with the Beatles. And he has the bass drum head from the Ed Sullivan Show.” 

The Beatles drum kit is currently on loan at the Rhythm Discovery Center in downtown Indy. 

“This is just one more example of why he does it, he does it because he wants to share them with the world.” 

While all the items won’t be on display, Irsay’s collection also features American history, like letters from American presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. And significant books and writings like the original working manuscript for Alcoholics Anonymous, the foundational piece for the 12-step program. 

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